Carex albicans

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: white-tinged sedge
Type: Rush or Sedge
Family: Cyperaceae
Native Range: United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil

Culture

Easily grown in medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Will grow in full sun. This species tolerates dry soil conditions better than most species of Carex. Plants will slowly spread by rhizomes and will self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Carex albicans, sometimes commonly called white tinged sedge or oak sedge, is a rhizomatous perennial sedge (section Acrocystis) that grows in a clump to 15-20" tall. It is native to North America from Quebec and Ontario south to Florida and Texas. In Missouri, it is found throughout the State, but most frequently in messic to dry upland forests and shaded ledges and less frequently in sandy bottomland forests (Steyermark). Narrow, grass-like, upright-arching, bright green leaf blades (to 16" long and 1/10" wide) grow in either dense tufts or loose colonies of tufts. Flowers bloom in late spring (May) on flowering stems rising to as much as 20" tall. Inflorescence has a staminate terminal spike and pistillate lateral spikes. Staminate scales are green to straw-colored, often tinged with reddish purple and white-margined. Pistillate scales are usually dark brown to black with green midribs and white margins. Fruits are trigonous, one-seeded achenes enclosed in sac-like bracts (perigynia). Over 1500 species of Carex grow in a variety of habitats (often moist to wet areas) throughout the world. Identification of individual species can be very difficult.

Genus name from Latin means cutter in reference to the sharp leaves and stem edges (rushes are round but sedges have edges) found on most species' plants.

Specific epithet comes from Latin meaning whitish.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best grown in groups or massed for foliage effect. Effective as a ground cover. Good selection for shade/part shade gardens and landscape areas. Good year round foliage interest.